By John Zamora, M.S., CDMS

Reasonable accommodation refers to the provision of conditions, equipment, and environment that enable an individual to effectively perform his or her job. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission describes reasonable accommodation as follows:

“The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires an employer with 15 or more employees to provide reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities, unless it would cause undue hardship. A reasonable accommodation is any change in the work environment or in the way a job is performed that enables a person with a disability to enjoy equal employment opportunities. There are three categories of reasonable accommodations:

  • Changes to a job application process;
  • Changes to the work environment, or to the way a job is usually done;
  • Changes that enable an employee with a disability to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment (such as access to training).”

Resources for Reasonable Accommodation

  • The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is a free service provided by the Office of Disability Employment Policy of the U.S. Department of Labor. JAN provides “a free consulting service designed to increase the employability of people with disabilities by: 1) providing individualized worksite accommodations solutions, 2) providing technical assistance regarding the ADA and other disability related legislation, and 3) educating individuals about self-employment options.”
  • The Rehabilitation Engineering & Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) is an interdisciplinary association of people with a common interest in technology and disability. RESNA’s mission is to “improve the potential of people with disabilities to achieve their goals through the use of technology. We serve that purpose by promoting research, development, education, advocacy and provision of technology; and by supporting the people engaged in these activities.”
  • U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission-ADA (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing all Federal laws prohibiting job discrimination. The EEOC also provides oversight and coordination of all federal equal employment opportunity regulations, practices, and policies.
  • The Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc. (RID) is a national membership organization of professionals who provide sign language interpreting and transliterating services for Deaf and Hard of Hearing persons.